Update on Don Rodgers Accident
Professional handler Don Rodgers along with his wife Patricia and their assistant Debra Carter, were involved in an accident on the way home from this past weekend’s shows in San Jose, CA when their motorhome collided with the rear of a semi truck on northbound Interstate 5 in Washingston state. The cab of their vehicle was crushed and all three of them suffered various degrees of injury. The Rodgers’ pet, Steeler, a retired champion Whippet was riding up front with Donald and Patricia. Steeler escaped his owners when their motor home crashed Tuesday morning on the freeway through Chehalis, Washington.
Cathy Spears, from Centralia, WA, has known the Rodgers’ for 20 years. She met up with fellow dog handlers at the Chehalis Starbuck’s to organize a search. They hired professional searcher Harry Oakes from Longview to assist in locating Steeler. Oakes said it took only about 30 minutes, once they figured out where to start looking. They learned one of the Chehalis firefighters had seen the dog running near Main Street when crews responded to the accident, Oakes said. They used a blanket Steeler had slept on to give Oakes’ two Border Collie search dogs a scent to work with, he said. They found some tracks. A local man and his yellow lab helped lure Steeler out, according to Spears. Oakes said he and Bryan spotted the whippet cowering in a briar patch about a half mile off Main Street. “It took some time to calm him down and get him to come to us,” Oakes said. The dog appeared to have just superficial cuts and minor bruising, Spears said. The whippet was tracked down in the brush in Chehalis about 2 p.m. on Wednesday. “He was nervous, I think kind of like, what’s gonna happen now, but not frightened,” said Cathy Spears.
The other dogs traveling with the Rodgers were uninjured. Donald Rodgers and Debra Carter have been released from the hospital, according to Spears. Patricia Rodgers remains at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a crushed hip and knee. Steeler is on his way back home to the Rodgers. He is being transported by Siberian Husky breeder, Terri Erickson.
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